Arsenal legend Perry Groves has admitted seeing Tottenham qualify for the Champions League at the Gunners’ expense feels like finding out that his wife has run away with the person who used to bully him at school.
Arsenal’s 2-0 loss at St James’ Park on Monday has left their hopes of a fourth-placed finish handing by a thread, with Spurs now needing just a draw against Norwich in the final game of the season to secure Champions League qualification.
If Tottenham do get a result at Carrow Road, it would be the sixth season in a row that the Lilywhites have finished ahead of their North London rivals.
Perry admitted it is not just Arsenal missing out on fourth that hurts but the fact it’s their fierce rivals who are on the verge of taking their place.
He told talkSPORT: “It hurts. It’s like finding out your wife is going to leave you.
“It’s not like she’s running away with your best friend, it’s like she’s running away with the person who used to bully you at school. That’s how bad it is. That’s how dark I feel.”
The former Arsenal winger admitted that the 2-0 loss to Newcastle United on Monday night hurt even more than the 3-0 defeat in the North London derby last week.
He insisted that the lack of experience has ended up costing Mikel Arteta’s men at the business end of the season.
Groves added: “I actually think tonight (against Newcastle) was worse. It’s horrible getting beat by your local rivals and we know the animosity that goes on.
“But tonight, there’s no reaction. With a group of young players, there was no belief. First 20 minutes against Spurs was OK. The penalty and red card changed the game.
“Aaron Ramsdale summed up how Arsenal were feeling at Newcastle, in the first 20 minutes, he looked very nervy. It’s a bit of know-how. Can you ride through these tough periods?
“When you’re under pressure, all the top teams know how to win those games. Even if you’re not playing particularly well and you have to scrap it out.
“At the beginning of the season, if you were offered two wins to get into top four, every Arsenal fan would’ve snapped your hand off.
“Then you get there, and with three games to go, you’re four points in front of Spurs and you let it slip. Arsenal have excellent young players but there’s a lack of leadership.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The more the pundits and Arsenal fans talk as if the top four is a done deal, the more nervous I am getting about us potentially blowing it against Norwich on Sunday, which we are certainly capable of doing.
However, I am comforted by the feeling that Arsenal are not likely to win against Everton. The Gunners camp does not feel like a pleasant place to be following their back-to-back defeats and Xhaka’s stunning outburst.
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